candida article

What Is Candida & How & Why Does It Present Itself

Candida is a type of yeast responsible for a number of health problems.

Candida is actually short for Candida Albicans which is normally present in small amounts in the intestines, mouth, and skin.

Let’s take a look at how Candida can become a problem and common symptoms and side effects.

How does Candida become a problem?

If Candida is a fungus-like bacteria that are naturally present in the body, how does it become a problem?

The problem actually arises when Candida overgrows.

Things that cause imbalances in the body leading to Candida overgrowth include but are not limited to eating a diet high in refined sugar and carbs, taking oral contraceptives, taking antibiotics, high alcohol intake, diabetes, a weakened immune system, and high-stress levels.

Causes of Candida

Candida overgrowth causes a number of problems. These problems range from vaginal infections to digestive disorders, fatigue, headaches, hormonal imbalances, and weight gain.

So we know that Candida causes a number of problems. However, what causes Candida to overgrow in the first place?

One of the most common causes of Candida overgrowth is a compromised immune system. People with HIV/Aids can be particularly susceptible.

Young children and the elderly are also susceptible. However, if you’ve been sick and dealing with other illnesses, you can also be susceptible to Candida overgrowth.

For example, people fighting cancer or diabetes can be particularly susceptible to Candida overgrowth.

One common cause of Candida as it relates to previous illness is the prescription of antibiotics.

Antibiotics kill bacteria including the good bacteria that help balance your body and your digestive system. This means antibiotics can have a direct influence on Candida overgrowth.

Another common cause of Candida overgrowth is actually quite simple to reverse.

Candida grows naturally in the gut. However, if you have infrequent bowel movements and become constipated, you’re giving Candida fuel to grow.

Candida thrives in moist, dark environments like your intestines.

If you’re unable to completely process the food you’ve eaten you’re also providing Candida bacteria with a food source.

To reverse this process, eat plenty of fiber so you clean your digestive tract and eliminate the food source Candida needs.

One of the most common causes of Candida overgrowth in the average individual is a diet that is high in sugar.

There is some controversy surrounding this however many sufferers have found that simply changing their dietary habits and lifestyle virtually eliminate Candida overgrowth from their life.

This is because Candida thrives on sugar. If you eliminate sugar from your diet you subsequently starve Candida.

It’s purged from your body and then you can resume a normal diet that is high in protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables, and low in sugar.

Finally, because your immune system is affected by a number of factors, your lifestyle can play an important role in your Candida recovery.

Things like stress, depression, nutrient deficiency, and simply hormonal imbalances can cause Candida to grow. Personal hygiene also plays a role in some Candida cases.

Candida overgrowth has a number of causes.

If you suffer from frequent Candida overgrowth problems, assess your lifestyle and diet, and see your doctor.

Treating the symptoms will provide immediate relief and treating the cause will provide lifelong relief.

You don’t have to suffer from Candida overgrowth. Understand the causes and learn what’s behind your Candida symptoms.

Live Candida free!

Like yeast or other fungi, Candida thrives on sugar and lives in warm dark environments.

This means places like your stomach, genitals, mouth and even your eyes can be hospitable environments for Candida.

Candida can actually become systemic meaning it is present throughout your entire body. It takes over your organs and invades your bloodstream. When this happens, death is a real risk.

Notice I mentioned that Candida thrives on sugar. There is real evidence that poor dietary habits, or diets high in sugar, tend to cause Candida overgrowth.

This is great news for people who suffer from overgrowth symptoms. Often a change in diet will alleviate the problem.

So what problems arise from Candida Overgrowth?

The most common symptoms of Candida overgrowth are yeast or vaginal infections.

The data tells us that about three in four women suffer from a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their life.

Yeast infections are exhibited by irritation in the vaginal area, whitish discharge and inflammation, and itching.

Treatment is generally over the counter though your doctor can prescribe medication as well.

However, if you’re susceptible to Candida overgrowth then you’re likely to see a recurrence unless you change your habits and lifestyle.

Oral thrush is a common sign of Candida overgrowth. It’s commonly seen in babies and children and presents as a white almost cottage cheesy coating in the mouth, tongue, and throat.

Generally, mild antifungals are prescribed and habits are assessed. For mothers of nursing babies, dietary changes may be required.

Candida also presents as skin infections. It can affect folds of the skin where it is dark and moist or it can affect the surface of the skin depending on the individual. It’s caused again by overgrowth and a weakened immune system.

Candida skin rashes vary from person to person and there are many types of Candida skin rashes. One of the most common is diaper rash. Treatment is a topical antifungal.

Candida Albicans overgrowth causes a number of problems ranging from basic but extremely uncomfortable vaginal infections and skin infections to digestive disorders, fatigue, weight gain, and hormonal imbalances.

If you suffer from chronic yeast infections treat the symptoms but also take measures to treat the cause.

Dietary and lifestyle changes can make a dramatic difference in your overall health.

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Fact & Fiction: 5 Myths About Candida

When something is as common as Candida and Candida overgrowth is, myths tend to pop up.

Unfortunately, there are many myths about Candida. Believing these myths can affect your recovery.

Let’s dig deep and look at the 5 most common myths about Candida.

Candida Myth #1 Only women suffer from Candida overgrowth.

This isn’t true at all.

Both men and women have Candida living naturally in their body and both men and women can get Candida infections.

In fact, men can get yeast infections on their genitals just like women can get vaginitis caused by yeast infections.

Many studies have shown that Candida overgrowth is present in 90% of the population.

Candida Myth #2 Only drugs and antifungals can kill Candida.

Drugs and antifungals can treat the symptoms of Candida. However, they don’t treat the underlying cause.

In fact, many Candida drugs and antifungals can cause a number of other harmful side effects and symptoms.

If you suffer from recurring Candida infections it’s important to look at the underlying cause.

Relying on drugs and antifungals will not alleviate the problem and you’ll continue to suffer.

Candida Myth #3 Home Remedies Don’t Work To Treat Candida

This is partially true however it depends largely on the home remedy.

One popular home remedy for Candida overgrowth is to eat more yogurt. This actually can work if the infection is mild and you don’t have other risk factors.

Yogurt contains probiotics which are the good bacteria in your gut.

When there’s a balance of bacteria, Candida overgrowth can be eliminated.

However, other home remedies like drinking vinegar do not work and can, in fact, worsen Candida overgrowth symptoms.

If you have a home remedy for Candida overgrowth, consult your health care practitioner first.

Candida Myth #4 Candida overgrowth isn’t a big deal.

Candida overgrowth can actually kill you. It can become systemic, and take over your blood and organs so it is a big deal.

Candida overgrowth can also cause other surprising problems like weight gain, chronic fatigue, chronic illness, headaches, hormonal imbalances, and a wide variety of pretty serious problems.

Yes, Candida is a big deal.

Candida Myth #5 Only people with compromised immune systems get Candida infections

While people with compromised immune systems are in danger of more serious complications from Candida, the truth is that anyone can get a Candida infection.

Healthy, unhealthy, good dietary habits, poor dietary habits, male, female, young, and old – Candida exists in everyone and everyone is at risk.

However, you strongly improve your chances of avoiding Candida overgrowth if you take great care of yourself.

This includes making sure you reduce stress, eat a nutrient-rich, low sugar diet, eat lots of fiber and you don’t smoke or drink heavily. 

Candida is an organism that lives in everyone. It can cause real and serious health problems and no one is immune.

If you suffer from Candida overgrowth, find a qualified health care practitioner to get the help you need to begin the healing process. Then start changing your life for the better.

Simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference in living a Candida free life.

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Woman hanging over edge of chair

What Causes Candida Overgrowth?

What causes Candida overgrowth? Fill out this Candida questionnaire to find out of Candida may be an issue in your health challenges.

 

Many things can cause Candida overgrowth leading to an imbalance.

Some of them include:

  •  Over use of antibiotics without replacing the lost beneficial bacteria (probiotics)
  •   Nutrient Poor Diet:  that is rich in refined sugars and refined carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, rice pasta, ice cream, sodas, processed foods, etc.)
  •   Constipation: this common problem can be caused by Candida. However constipation can also lead to Candida. A digestive tract which is constipated is slow moving and becomes very alkaline. The more alkaline the digestive tract the more Candida growth.
  •   Parasites and Intestinal Worms: Some researches have estimated that over 85% of all people living in North America and Canada have parasites. These unwelcome guests destroy friendly bacteria in the intestines making yeast overgrowth possible.
  •  Excessive Stress: Stress can cause yeast growth for several reasons. It raises cortisol, a stress hormone, which depresses the immune system, raises blood sugar which feeds yeast cells allowing them to grow quickly. Another thing to be aware of is that cortisol can be addicting to the body. It raises sugar and relieves inflammation. There are several simple nutrients that help lower cortisol levels back to normal by telling the nervous system to relax.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: It has long been recognized that an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone can be a cause in yeast overgrowth.
  •  Birth Control Pills or Device: Oral birth control pills are mostly the hormone estrogen. Supplemental estrogen in the synthetic form has been found to promote the growth of yeast. A common complaint of women on birth control pills is yeast infection. The copper IUD is another possible promoter of yeast.
  •  Hypothyroid: The thyroid gland has an important effect on the immune system and digestive system.
  • Heavy Metals: Toxic metals show up consistently in people experiencing Candida. They are Mercury, Copper and Arsenic. These metals disable the exact part of the immune system that seeks to control Candida! They are often found in dental fillings and in tap water. As they pass through the intestinal tract they can stimulate the growth of more Candida. It’s important to get rid of the yeast before removing heavy metals since clearing them first will spread the yeast!
  • Other things that may contribute to Candida overgrowth include drugs and alcohol, antacid use, diabetes, hypothyroidism, excessive bowel cleansing, an imbalance of minerals such as copper dysregulation.

Wondering if your health could be affected by Candida overgrowth?

Here are some questions that can help determine if you may have Candida overgrowth:

1. Do you have skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes?
2. Do you have mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression?
3. Are you typically bloated, especially after meals?
4. Do you have trouble losing weight?
5. Do you have constant cravings?
6. Do you have thrush (a white coating of the tongue)?
7. Do you suffer from frequent colds or flu?
8. Do you have night sweats?
9. Have you used antibiotics or birth control pill in the last 2 years?
10. Do you have gas or bloating?
11. Do you have sugar cravings?
12. Do you have low blood sugar?
13. Do you have history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral, athlete’s foot, or
jock itch?
14. Does your partner have a history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral,
athlete’s foot, or jock itch?
15. Are you sensitive to smells?
16. Are you sensitive to alcohol?
17. Do you suffer from symptoms that your doctor cannot explain like;
headaches, migraines, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, IBS (Irritable Bowel
syndrome), itching, menstrual or sinus problems?
18. Do you feel fatigued all the time?
19. Do you have a hard time concentrating?
20. Do you just not feel right?

If you said “yes” to any of these questions it would be in your best interest to make sure Candida isn’t part of the problem.

Fill out the full Candida Questionnaire.

If you scored high on the questionnaire and need help with getting it under control you are welcome to schedule a free 30-minute Health Discovery phone session with me to see how I can help you get things balanced with a program designed just for you.

Read the first part of this post “Is Candida Sabotaging Your Health?” to learn more about Candida and it’s symptoms.

 

Is Candida Sabotaging Your Health?

Candida Sabotaging Health? Bloating, gas, rashes, brain fog plus a whole host of other nagging health issues are signs your body needs attention.

 What Is Candida albicans?

First, before I get into the details about Candida, I would like to share with you why this is a topic that I know a lot about. I found out a while back that I was actually born with Candida overgrowth and have had multiple health challenges in my life where Candida was the culprit.

I had to figure out on my own how to get rid of it and it was a daunting process.

It has come back a few times in the past twenty years when I’m under quite a lot of stress or I eat a bit off my usually sugar-free, clean diet.

Unfortunately, once you’ve had it you’re more prone to having another bout with it.  I will go right back on the diet, deal with my stress and take a natural anti-fungal if needed.

I can honestly say that I’m blessed to have had the experience (I’m done now though!) of having Candida overgrowth because now I can share the information that helped me with my clients.

After working with clients for 15 years I noticed that up to 80% of people that walked through my door had some level of  Candida overgrowth.

This is why I decided to specialize in helping women with this issue. Candida overgrowth is very common and my goal is to educate people on how to get back into balance and feel better!

So what exactly is Candida albicans?

It is a type of yeast that is present in the gut flora of a healthy human body.

You may be shocked to learn that we each house two to five pounds of live bacteria inside our bodies!

The balance of these bacteria is what’s important as they fend off foreign invaders plus a lot more. The balance of Candida is normally controlled by bacteria in the intestines. But when something destroys helpful bacteria, the yeast begins to invade and colonize the body tissues which can lead to what is termed “leaky gut”.

This is where the tissues become porous allowing these yeast colonies to release powerful chemicals called mycotoxins into the bloodstream, causing a variety of symptoms that I’ve listed below.

 

Is Candida sabotaging your health? Pain, gas, itch and brain fog are signs your body needs attention.Microscope slide of esophageal candidiasis via wikipedia

 

Signs and Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

Both men and women can have candidiasis, however, women do experience it more frequently and usually more severely. 

Candida symptoms fall into these main four areas:

Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary Symptoms

These include gas and bloating – Candida produces carbon dioxide in the intestine, the result is persistent gas and bloating, thrush, coated tongue,  constipation, chronic diarrhea, rectal itching, indigestion, heartburn, bladder infections,  recurrent yeast vaginitis, vaginal burning and itching, vaginal discharge, “jock itch”, loss of sexual feelings and inflammation of the prostate.

Allergic Symptoms and Skin Symptoms

(These symptoms occur with the passing of toxins into the bloodstream.) These symptoms include hay fever, earaches, hives, headaches, sore throats, coughing, recurrent bronchitis, acne, nasal stuffiness, congestion, runny nose, chemical sensitivities to tobacco smoke, perfume and foods, “sick all over feeling”, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, rashes, dry scaly skin, frequent colds.

Glandular and Organ Symptoms

These include infertility, menstrual problems, PMS, ovarian failure and ACTH deficiency, inability to lose weight,  hypothyroidism, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, diabetes mellitus, impotence, and endometriosis.

Emotional and Mental Symptoms

These occur because of central nervous system involvement. These include brain fog — poor memory, fatigue, drowsiness, feelings of unreality, coordination problems, numbness and tingling, muscle and joint pain, muscle weakness, irritability, inability to concentrate, confusion, anxiety and severe depression.

Other imbalances in the body can cause similar symptoms as well.

I feel it is important to rule out other issues like gluten or dairy sensitivity, adrenal burn out, blood sugar imbalance issues, emotional issues, and even general fatigue before diagnosing yourself with Candida overgrowth. There are always “layers” to our healing process.

If you have several of the symptoms for a Candida imbalance, following some simple steps for re-balancing your body should help move you in a healing direction whether or not the root issue is a Candida imbalance, or if the Candida imbalance is a symptom of another issue.

If you are experiencing many of the symptoms mentioned above and need some help getting it under control I offer VIP health coaching programs that will help you ditch Candida for good. Contact me today to schedule your free 30-minute Health Discovery Session to see how I can help you get rid of Candida overgrowth for good.

It can be overwhelming when there are so many things going on with our health and I know if I would have had someone to help me way back when I was going through all of my Candida symptoms I would have felt less overwhelmed, confused and felt better much faster!

There are so many factors to be aware of and it’s always smart to be sure that there is not a deeper imbalance going on that needs professional attention. No need to suffer if you don’t have to, it’s a positive step to seek help.